Here is a quick update.
Devin Thomas will supply me with several types of steel - damascus, plain, and san mai construction steel (plain and damascus cladding), and as a part of our ongoing relationship, he will help me with an optimal heat treat for his steel as I will be doing heat treating myself in my workshop. I am very excited about this.
I would like to start with carbon, sami-carbon, and stainless setup and adjust as the time goes by.
Each blade will be thoroughly tested for RC hardness, abrasion, edge retention, sharpness etc and I will report what I find without distortion or hype - if I say the knife is 62RC, that means I got the reading from a hardness tester, not a guess. I have the equipment on hand. I will also test against performance knives, as well as send knives to be evaluated in professional environment.
I think I have a pretty good idea what I like to see in my kitchen knife, so now it is time for start experimenting. I will try not to have it interfere with my regular custom work, but I will have to scale it down, once I start making knives for sale.
Thanks everybody for your support and encouragement.